Most days, we began with a walk either to or, in this case, beyond Amsterdam’s Central Station. I trotted happily behind the one with a sense of direction, looking out all the time for more interesting details to photograph. We particularly liked this blue angel which we passed several times.
On this particular day, we were heading for Oosterdok (East Dock) to visit the library. I had already spotted it in my guidebook and Greet, our landlady, also recommended the views from the terrace. She obviously thought we might think a library was a weird place to visit on holiday, but I soon put her right on that!
I’m not sure we ever did find out what the little building outside with the strange creatures on top was, but we fell in love with the library.
There was an exhibition of political cartoons which, knowing little about Dutch politics, I thought might not be very interesting. Turns out, there were two main topics, both of which I knew lots about – try to guess …
After the exhibition, we made our way slowly up through several floors to the terrace. The views were, indeed fine, but would have been better on a less misty day. We could see both Het Scheepvaartmuseum (maritime museum) and NEMO (science and technology museum – the green building). Finally, we went to the café for lunch – some of our libraries have cafés, but they are much more basic than this. My sandwich was one of the simplest dishes on offer.
After lunch, we headed across the pedestrian bridge you can see in the gallery above, passing NEMO and the maritime museum.
We then crossed the road to Kadijksplein in the Plantage district where we watched a boat and tug passing under two swing bridges.
From here we walked along Hoogte Kadijk, a residential street with enough quirks to keep us happy: more carvings, street art, a block of flats built on the site of a former brewery, and an 18th-century wharf where ships are still repaired. The latter is also a museum, although it’s only open on Tuesdays – which this wasn’t, otherwise I’d have had to drag John away.
At the end of the street, we crossed over to view the De Gooyer Windmill, the last of five grain mills in the area and now a private home, before making our way back along Entrepot Dock – former warehouses of the Dutch East India Company now also converted into homes.
This brought us out opposite the Dutch Resistance Museum which we decided to visit – it’s very good but, of course, very disturbing. We’d been to the Anne Frank House the day before and the combined effect was profound. (NB, if visiting the Anne Frank House it’s essential to book online in advance for a specific time slot. Even then, we queued outside for 20-30 minutes so plan carefully.)
Finally, after a warming, and cheering, coffee, we set off for home. It was getting dark by this time, always interesting in Amsterdam.
My next Amsterdam post will take us to the highest swing in Europe. And I wasn’t scared, honestly. Well, only a little bit.
Linked to Jo’s Monday Walk which today is Portuguese and sunny, so pop over there for a warm-up.